As part of the Electric Vehicles Programme, the Government plans to introduce a new RUC exemption for heavy electric vehicles to encourage their uptake. A spokesperson for Transport Minister Simon Bridges confirmed that the exemption would be the current RUC rates on the truck. It does not appear to include trailers towed by the electric vehicle.
The exemption will remove barriers for heavy vehicle owners, making it easier to transition to electric powered heavy vehicles. It will be in place until 2% of the heavy vehicle fleet is electric or 31 December 2025, whichever is reached first. The spokesperson did not know if the exemption would cease when the 2% threshold is reached, or if the first 2% of heavy electric vehicles would continue to be RUC exempt until 31 December 2025.
“Should heavy electric vehicles make up 2% of the heavy vehicle fleet before 31 December 2025, the Government would have to consider whether to revoke the exemption,” the spokesperson said.
Road Transport Forum chief executive Ken Shirley said it was pleasing that the Government had recognised the potential anomaly presented by the introduction of electric vehicles and given a discount on road user charges to heavy electric vehicles that is commensurate with the regime for electric cars, who traditionally paid excise duty at the pump.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will investigate coordinated bulk purchasing of electric vehicles across public and private sector fleets, with the aim of increasing supply and reducing costs, making electric vehicles even more cost competitive.
Changes will also be made to the Land Transport Act and Rules to allow electric vehicles to use bus and high occupancy vehicle lanes on the State Highway network it controls. Those changes would also mean road controlling authorities could allow electric vehicles into those lanes on their local roading networks.
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